Picks and Pans Review: Your Crow, Sir
I apologize, America. I beg forgiveness for ever having liked TV home shopping. Last summer when I saw the Home Shopping Network's toothy, horn-tooting hucksters peddling Capodimonte and cubic zirconia, I thought it was kitsch, camp, a harmless hoot. Besides, it was only cable. But this has gone too far. America is being shlockified. HSN grows bigger, hauling in an estimated $700 million this year and soon to be expanding into insurance and even prescription drugs. (Hurry, home shoppers! Call now! Only 10 Valium left!) But worse, home shopping is oozing off of cable and onto real TV, onto our airwaves. Stations are wasting half hours, hours, even entire days and nights on home shopping, the endless commercial. And the FCC is doing nothing to stop them, too busy washing out radio deejay's mouths with soap. But you, tasteful TV fans, are doing what the FCC is not bothering to do: You are helping to stamp out shlockification. You didn't watch Value Television. So, this month, this sad excuse for a talk show—yes, sadder than The Late Show with Joan Rivers and sadder even than The Late Show without Joan Rivers—will sell its last gold chain. Thanks to you, the millions who didn't watch, no longer will we be subjected to host Richard Simmons flogging gadgets that "reduce microwave cooking time by up to 35 percent" (the perfect gift for the chronically impatient). And no longer will we hear co-host Constance Towers blasting air-powered stadium horns to win the home-shopping toot wars. VTV's grade: Expelled. But don't let down your guard. Don't turn on your TV. The war is not won. Home shopping is like a cockroach. You squash one and two more come squirming out of the woodwork. This week, we review two new home-shopping "game shows"—and then some legitimate television.
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